Skip to content

Claire S. Smith, Pauline Communities As ‘Scholastic Communities’: A Study of the Vocabulary of ‘Teaching’ in 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus

Smith Pauline CommunitiesThemelios has just published an excellent summary review of Claire Smith’s detailed (500 page+!) monograph on the vocabulary of “teaching” in 1 Corinthians and the Pastoral Epistles. The review was written by Andrew Clarke in Aberdeen. I highly recommend it for anyone who would like to familiarise themselves quickly with the key findings of Smith’s scholarly work.

Smith’s monograph undergirds many of the points she makes in her series of 3 essays in the book Women, Sermons and the Bible. Particularly relevant is the following passage from Clarke’s review:

Text-focused study was not the goal of these communities. Rather, the focus was on character formation in contexts where ‘texts’ were largely oral/aural, rather than written, and where close, authoritative relationships invited the imitation of modeled lives, and not merely attendance at formal discourse. This impinges, of course, on the range of physical contexts for educational activities. None of this relegates the role of God as the prime teacher and revealer, the supreme source and authority. As a consequence, the human teacher would do well to model ongoing learning, rather than be seen as one who has mastered, and therefore hands down, a fixed and acquired curriculum.

Some of my readers may be aware that Claire’s essays have recently been scathingly criticised and that I have provided a partial response to the criticism (for details see here). I think Clarke’s review will help readers to gain a greater understanding of some of the issues I raised in my response.

Published in1 Corinthians1 Timothy2 TimothyTitus

Publications by Lionel Windsor:

  • Lift Your Eyes: Reflections on Ephesians

Recent blog posts

  • The planSo here’s the plan (Ephesians 1:8–10)
    The God of the universe has a plan to sum up all things in Christ. He’s revealed that plan to us, and is putting it into effect through the gospel.
  • Are you trying to redeem yourself? (Ephesians 1:6b–7)
    When it comes to God, we can’t redeem ourselves. Redemption is something that God has to do—and has done—for us. This is why it’s such a wonderful thing.
  • What if it’s not about me? (Ephesians 1:4–6a)
    The Bible gives us a vision for living life that’s the exact opposite of the narcissistic attitude. This is highly confronting, and profoundly comforting.
  • Figtree Anglican Church Life Group Leaders Breakfast February 2019Overview of Romans 1–5: PowerPoint
    An overview of the logic of Romans 1–5 (PowerPoint file)
  • Sun over city#inChrist (Ephesians 1:3)
    Ephesians starts with an explosion of praise for the ‘blessings’ God has given to us. But they’re different from the kind of blessings we often talk about.
  • This GodThis God (Ephesians 1:2)
    Many people believe in ‘God’. But the word ‘God’ means different things to different people. What does the Bible say about God: who he is and what he’s like?
  • Amazing HolinessAmazing holiness (Ephesians 1:1b)
    God sees believers in Jesus as holy. This fact is amazing, especially when you grasp the history of the gospel going out from Israel to the nations.
  • Paul: in his own wordsPaul: in his own words (Ephesians 1:1a)
    Who do you think the Apostle Paul is? It's worth listening carefully to the words Paul himself chooses to define his own identity at the start his letter.
  • Lift Your EyesLift Your Eyes: Introducing Ephesians
    When believers in Jesus were in danger of losing heart, Paul wrote Ephesians. This letter lifts our eyes to see God’s amazing plan through Jesus Christ.
  • From temple to meat market in ancient Pompeii
    A very quick journey from the temple of Jupiter in Pompeii to the meat market. This helps us to understand 1 Corinthians 8-10 and probably also Romans 14.

On this site

All content copyright Lionel Windsor